David Bowie Biopic Announced, but Son Says It’s Not Approved
The producers of a David Bowie biopic to be titled Stardust announced that principal photography would begin in June, with musician and actor Johnny Flynn confirmed to play the late British artist.
However, Bowie’s son Duncan Jones almost immediately criticized the production, saying it wasn’t approved or supported by his family, and that it would not feature any Bowie music.
Along with Flynn, best known for the Netflix series Lovesick and the movie Beast, The Hollywood Reporter listed Jena Malone as playing Angie Bowie, his first wife, and Marc Maron as his publicist. The story is set during Bowie's 1971 trip to the U.S., which helped inspire the creation of his Ziggy Stardust character.
Jones, a director known for his award-winning 2009 science-fiction film Moon, responded to the announcement with a series of tweets.
“Pretty certain nobody has been granted music rights for ANY biopic ... I would know," he said. “I’m not saying this movie is not happening. I honestly wouldn’t know. I’m saying that as it stands, this movie won’t have any of Dad’s music in it, and I can’t imagine that changing. If you want to see a biopic without his music or the family's blessing, that’s up to the audience.”
He went on to say he’d support a project if it was based on some of “Dad’s characters,” written by fantasy author Neil Gaiman and made as an animated movie by Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse). Responding to a comment from Ramsey, Jones said, “Genuinely, I'm not the right person to make it. My perspective is far too uniquely subjective and personal. If something like this were to happen, I would want artists like you and Neil to do it, and I would stay completely out of the way, cheerleading with all my heart."
Meanwhile, David Bowie: Finding Fame, the third in a series of BBC documentaries, was presented to a preview audience earlier this week. A post on Bowie's Facebook page noted, "Aside from emotional (and sometimes hilarious), tributes from those and other contributors, David Bowie: Finding Fame boasts a fair few scoops, including excerpts from the following, in no particular order … Cut scenes from backstage at Hammersmith Odeon, 1973; audio from Glastonbury, 1971; the Hype at the Roundhouse, 1970; 'My Death' on Russell Harty Plus Pop, 1973; plus lots of audio teaser snippets of various demos and unreleased tracks."
The post also said the recently discovered first-ever TV footage of Bowie as Stardust wasn't part of the preview, and its appearance in the final version remained in doubt.